Bharia Town bulldozers vandalize oldest Hindu temple

BJP_leaders_mee18939It has been unfortunate hallmark for our history that we have seen that historical places are not important but elite class and government ministers\’ protocol is very important.
Who will save historical heritage? This question requires pragmatic answer when we see the violation of heritage act and negligence of government institutes to the historical places is growing that is also murdering the historical places.

In Sindh, Hindu Temples are under grave threats and gesture of government pertaining to the issue seems very indifferent to it. It has been widely reported about the kidnapping of Hindu girls and now damaging ancient Hindu Temples. Does any force deliberately destroy the history of this land? Larkana incident recently left its horrible impact on the issue of Hindu community. No sooner did People of Sindh come out of the pain of Larkana incident when Mr. Malik Riaz\’s building project damaged the oldest Temple Mahadev in Karachi.

Although Mr. Malik Riaz had erected his soft image in Sindh by providing charity to Thari people but now people felt Mr. Malik fooled Sindhis that first he cleverly offered them lollypop afterwards he puts his capitalist foot on Mahadev Temple in order to protect his vested interests.

A visited was made to Mahadev Temple for reporting the damaging parts and their causes. Sadly the news vindicates that Bharia Town is not only violating the government heritage act 1994 but damaging the relics of Temple. While visiting inside the Temple, evident splinters in the mud ceiling of temple were seen resulted by the sound and vibration of heavily equipped constructing project around the premises of temple; single vibration is providing harm to it.
Many people are afraid of influential political personalities and are unable to talk against Bharia Town Company, major responsible of vandalism to temple.

The Frontier Post approached to Dr. Raj Ashok (Member of Temple committee) while talking to him, he was found frightened talking against perpetrator and kept iterating that \”we are not against Bharia Town and we are not powerful enough to take action against them as you are eye-witnessed that workers of the project are damaging Temple.\” He further said \”according to preservation act 1994 no one is allowed to damage historical site, however; things are very visible to you that what workers are doing there, in the name of development. They have destroyed gas pipe line of temple; we are now in trouble to cook food (Langar) for people coming to temple.\” He pointed out that \”look at this site we are digging another side for gas pipe line.\” He vehemently complained that Bahria Town constructing project was being held on the property of Temple and none of them had asked us; they came and started work there. In response of questions, he said that \”Yes, we did request to higher authorities but, as you know, authorities came here and showed their simple verbal sympathies but the workers of constructing project have no care of anyone; they work day and night.\”

He appreciated courts order that at least the court had taken notice against vandalism to Temple. In spite of it, Temple Committee still needed stay orders from court since Bharia Town Project\’s workers had been working and their work caused grave damages to Temple.

When we (The Frontier Post) entered into Temple, whisper of wind was wandering around slowly in the temple and we entered at main place where young lad named Ramesh was standing there and he introduced himself as a guardian of room, he talked to me and wanted me to witness the growing crack and damages of ceiling that was due to heavy vibration of project missionaries. He said that if work kept continued it would damage the oldest cave of temple as the cave of temple was made of mud and the committee was afraid of damaging and cave could be collapsed at any time that would take away many as many worshipers regularly came to visit there.
He added \”I don\’t know who would listen to our poor voice but we still have faith in Shiv, God will help us.

Raj Kumar (Chairman of Secular Forum of Sindh) said in his painful voice that what he would say. They had traumatic experience of Netty Jetty Raam Temple that had been damaged by Lakhani Builder supported by MQM and now again the oldest Mahadev Temple was going to be destroyed by another builder. Sindhi seculars believe that Shiv was Bhagwan of Sindh and condemning the damage of Shiv Temple. He asked that Why it was happening. If they did force us to remain in the history era of 712 AD as there was no existence of history before the time of 712. He left a vital question for authorities to be answered.
Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani (member of National Assembly PML-N) said if any person wanted development work, party was not against them but it could not afford the development work that caused damage of their Temple. He had been complaining and they were there for people\’s voice if they did not help them what we are for there, said Dr. Ramesh PML-N.
He advised Mr. Malik Riaz and people of Hindu community to sit together and to hold a conference where they could ensure that no single piece of work would be led that caused damage to temple. \”Mahadev Temple is not property of few people, it is of all people of Pakistan and we need to save them\”, said Ramesh Kumar Vankwani.

As we tried to contact Mr. Mukesh Kumar Chawal minister of Sindh government, unfortunately, despite of promise of talking to us, he did not respond us. It shows his official apathy being a minister of Sindh Government regarding Mahadev Temple. A minister who hesitates in talking of the matter then how it could be possible that they would take stand to save the historical temple.

Mr. Ravi Dewani (General Secretary of Hindu Panchayat Karachi) shared his views with us and showed his concerns, it was same Bharia Town Project that took place at Abdul Shah Gazi Shrine, it had consulted the required parameters of Shrine and talked to authorities before initiating construction work there but in case of that Temple they had not bothered to ask any person of temple authorities. That Temple was said to be one of the oldest temples in Sindh and they performed their religious ceremonies there.

He said \”we are not against any development work, you can do work but why is the development work damaging our religious and historical place? Laws exclaim that no one can dig around 200meters and development working area is the property of Temple.\” Whom have they gotten permission from? We asked that unnamed source replied that \”KDA issued NOC to Bharia Town that area of Temple is not under its authority.\” He slightly laughed and said if KDA is not accepting its responsibility means it is responsibility of Cultural Department but this is the property of Temple and Mr. Malik Riaz didn\’t consult us.\”

As he had met Z.N Jatoi member of Bharia Town Project who assured him that unless the concerned authority solved the issues, work would not damage the place of Temple and also made sure afterwards the construction work would be began. Nevertheless he didn\’t keep his word and breached all promises that he had made, Ravi Dhawan said.

On 27, 03, 2014 midnight around 3:00am workers started work on the area of Temple which is claimed to be the property of temple. Now Bharia Town Project workers start work at midnight and Hindu Panchayat (Karachi) is trying its best to stop them. Ravi Dhawan also said that he had complained ministers and politicians but they all assured Hindu Panchayat of looking at the matter but the project still had been vandalizing the historical place. If none of them (Ministers/Authorities) listen to them, Hindu Panchiat would ultimately use its right to protest against the encroachment and vandalism committed by Bahria Town Project.
He said that \”Mr. Malik Riaz respected Abdul Shah Gazi Shrine and consulted with them. Why has he violated the act of heritage and damaged our Temple?\” He reiterated that Karachi Hindu Panchiat would take care and save historical temples because those all temples were coming under the control of Karachi Hindu Panchayet, they were not sleeping and indeed we were awakened.

It is very interesting that Culture Department of Sindh used to say, Media is high lighting unnecessary things but culture department cannot hide its face from the King of Bharia Town that has violated the act 1994 preservation and its heavy missionary is present over there, it is not for showpiece in fact heaving missionary is being used by workers to build the building while destroying historical Shiv Temple.
Culture Department of Sindh must have knocked at the door of court and gotten the stay orders. We have not heard such news by Cultural Department of Sindh, yet..

Sham Shahani complained that on behalf of HRCP \”we have filed FIR against Bahria Town. It was illegal and intended to build underpass though it (Bahria Town Project) can build the same underpass on the main road site, why is it building underpass on the area of Temple? It is a good idea that Mr. Malik Riaz wants development work but on cost of damaging our temple is harmful\”, he said.

It is strange that Sindhi politicians and nationalists are silent and none of them have shown their concerns regarding Temples, neither for netty jetty Raam Temple, nor for Mahadev Temple. Since these Temples are traced to be ancient history of Sindh and Pakistan.

Lastly, we tried to contact with PPP member that it was necessary. PPP must share its view on Temple as Mr. Mukesh Chawal did not share his views on vandalism to temple. Therefore, we talked to Mr. Ramesh MNA of PPP, he said that he was coming to Karachi on Friday and would closely look at the case. He would try to get that vandalizing construction halted soon as he did during the Musharraf\’s project when he had ordered to build dam at area of Hinglaj Temple, so the same project would stop work of Bahria Town since our party leaders were with them (Hindu).

Unnamed source said that KDA and Avaque Trust Property, neither of them issued NOC for Bahria Town Project. So far the property of temple comes under the authority Avaque Trust Property if they did not issued any permission certificate then who has issued NOC to or from whom did Mr. Malik Riaz purchase that property?

Courts ordered that report on the issue should be presented in two weeks but workers are still seen working day and night to accomplish the project, on the other hand the indigenous people of this land trying at every level to save their temple.
If underpass builds at site of Temple then in future work of Bahria Town would indeed damage the Temple because the capitalist Bulldozer of Baharia Town is vandalizing oldest Mahadev Temple.

Source: The Frontier Post